Mertesacker: I told Wenger to sign Ozil for Arsenal

Per Mertesacker

Per Mertesacker didn’t hesitate to reply in the affirmative when Arsene Wenger asked him if he should sign Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid.

The Gunners defender has revealed he championed the Real Madrid star’s talents when quizzed by the Emirates boss.

Mertesacker said: “Arsene Wenger has asked me what I thought of Ozil, and the answer was obvious. I knew that he had been watching him for a long time, and he wanted to sign him even when he was at Werder Bremen.

“I am glad that we have still managed a relatively big deal before the deadline, which will certainly bring us forward in the Premier League and in the Champions League.  I know him from Bremen, so I know he will improve us.”

But former Arsenal forward Alan Smith says Ozil’s capture doesn’t hide the fact that Wenger has deficiencies within his group.

Critics claim Arsenal are still short of firepower with only Olivier Giroud as a recognised striker, while others point to the weakness within the squad when it comes to central defenders.   Smith, now a pundit with Sky Sports, says the north London club might have to do some business again when the transfer window opens in January.

He said: “The signing of Mesut Ozil has lifted everyone at the football club. It’s lifted the fans and taken a bit of the heat off Arsene Wenger. They do need more than that though and it doesn’t solve all their problems though.”